News Bites

Around 1,500 members of the IG Metall union went on strike for four hours today. The workers in Rhineland-Palatinate are demanding more flexible hours.

AB InBev sold two German breweries, Hasseröder and Diebels, to CKCF, an investor from Hesse. No details were disclosed.

Healthineers, a Siemens healthcare unit, is cutting costs ahead of an IPO and is expected to be valued at €40 billion. The company sees molecular diagnostics as an especially promising area of growth.

Fashion retailer C&A is hunting for partners and investors to help grow its presence in China and other emerging markets, while expanding its online services. (Spiegel)

Berlin’s fashion week opened today and will run through January 19. Two ethical fashion shows will exhibit clothing made from unusual materials including stones and pineapple leaves.

500 pairs of Adidas sneakers made in partnership with the BVG public transit authority went on sale in Berlin. The shoes, priced at €180, allow wearers to ride free through the end of the year.

A380 Problems

New Airbus worry: the demise of the superjumbo

With management in upheaval over forthcoming departures and supply problems delaying deliveries, the European aerospace company may have to kill its technological wonder.

cash and questions

Investigators, suspects haggle over Airbus corruption case

Investigators and company officials are negotiating an agreement to end bribery proceedings. But questions remain as investigators are unable to explain a €100-million commission payment associated with a $2-billion fighter-jet deal.

Cruelty-free food

Chicken king Wiesenhof invests in cultured meat

The German poultry giant is backing Israeli artificial meat startup SuperMeat in a bid to take the chicken out of its chicken products.

Bad chemistry

Regulators stall Bayer-Monsanto megamerger

Bayer now believes the cost of its union with seedmaker Monsanto will be lower than expected, but regulators are throwing spanners in the works that could cause significant delays, or even threaten the deal.

Automated factories

Robots transforming Asian Adidas suppliers

Asian leisurewear suppliers Jia Hsin and Tung Mung International are investing millions to automate their factories, and feed Adidas’ and Puma’s insatiable appetites for shoes and clothes.

Quota call

Women still shut out of German boards

With a study showing Germany still far behind its main rivals in putting more women into senior management roles, particularly in finance, calls are growing for more stringent mandatory quotas.

Pharma Trends

Drug advances boost health, not company profits

Pharmaceutical innovation is booming, but the industry as a whole is stagnant, with little organic growth. Continued consolidation seems inevitable.

Spike in demand

EnBW blown away by wind power’s potential

German utility EnBW plans to blaze a trail for global expansion, targeting the US and Asia with a technology that has since overcome its teething troubles. So far, 90 percent of the world’s offshore wind farms are in Europe.

Air Berlin Bankruptcy

Niki passengers strike back

Consumer advocate Fairplane won an appeal to transfer bankruptcy of the Air Berlin unit to Austrian courts.

Leadership

Germany’s highest-paid female executive is a Spanish MD

She wanted to be a doctor but ended up climbing the corporate ladder to a €5.7 million annual paycheck. Inside Belén Garijo's leadership at German pharmaceutical giant Merck.

executives on the move 2018

Who's who

Meet Germany’s rogues and heroes in our 2018 gallery

What changes will the next year bring to corporate boardrooms? Find out who's leaving and who’s ready to grab the wheel.

easyjet starts service from berlin tegel airport

Air Berlin aftermath

Easyjet takes off from Berlin

Following its takeover of parts of the bankrupt Air Berlin, discount airline Easyjet expands its service in Germany, becoming the first foreign carrier to really challenge Lufthansa domestically.

Fresh Capital

US investors help German unicorn score $270 million

Biontech, one of Germany’s biggest biotech companies, is attracting attention and investment. But the firm's long road to an IPO is paved with clinical trials, strategic alliances and a whole lot of capital.

Brexit Impact

German firms brace for added costs in British trade

Reintroducing customs will increase paperwork and slow transit of EU goods in and out of Britain.

Grid crisis

Getting paid to use German power

Germany is being forced to pay other countries to take its surplus electricity because its power network can’t cope with the surge in renewables. With costs spiralling, operators, businesses and regulators are crying out for action.

Wirtschaftswunder worry

The flip side of Germany’s economic boom: skills shortage

Employers have full order books, but lament the lack of workers. It hurts Germany’s economic growth rate and could prompt more businesses to move skilled jobs abroad.

Sour Power

How Germans are taking back sauerkraut

Thanks to the American fermented food trend and a probiotic boom, Germany is rediscovering a tradition it had preserved poorly.